It's easy to get overwhelmed after a bicycle accident because there are so many things you need to take care of, such as filing a claim with the insurance company and seeking medical treatment for your injuries. Unfortunately, the wrong move during the time period after the accident could have a long-term negative effect on any legal case you may have. Here are two things you absolutely need to do after the accident to give yourself the best chances of winning compensation for your injuries.
Keep Your Bike and Safety Gear in the Same Condition
It's understandable you'll want to get your bike fixed as soon as possible after the accident, especially if you depend on it as a form of transportation to work or other obligations. However, it's essential you leave the vehicle as it is for as long as you possibly can. More likely than not, the other party involved in the accident will dispute liability, and the condition of your bike at the time of the accident can provide valuable supporting evidence that may help your case. This is evidence that may be lost if you get it repaired before it can be evaluated by a professional.
Hold onto the bike, and place it in a safe storage area for as long as you can. If you absolutely need to have the vehicle repaired, take as many pictures of the damage from all angles as possible before putting it in the shop. Although having access to the original equipment is preferred, a bicycle accident expert may still be able to piece together what happened in the incident from the pictures and written descriptions alone.
Along those same lines, you should hang onto to the safety gear you were wearing when the accident occurred, particularly your helmet. If you suffered a head injury while wearing the device, you may need it to show how the injury was sustained and/or prove your case against the manufacturer if a defect in the helmet led to you being hurt worse than you should have been. It's best to consult with a bicycle accident attorney about how long you need to keep these things to avoid throwing them out too soon.
Find an Attorney
As noted previously, liability is almost always disputed in bicycle cases. Unless you know you have a solid case against the other party, it's a good idea to hire an attorney to represent your interest in the case. In addition to helping you negotiate the maximum settlement possible, an attorney can provide valuable advice about how to handle your case and make sure you're meeting important deadlines.
For instance, the law limits how long you have to file a personal injury lawsuit (anywhere from two to six years). An attorney can ensure you file your case on time and sometimes even get the statute of limitations extended in certain situations.
For more information about managing your bicycle accident case, contact a lawyer.